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Combo Cleaner for Windows review

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Combo Cleaner for Windows review
If you are looking for a PC anti-malware program with high detection scores and effective threat remediation, you can’t go wrong with Combo Cleaner for Windows.
  1. Getting started
  2. Combo Cleaner for Windows – the feature set
  3. How well does Combo Cleaner detect and remove Windows threats?
  4. Combo Cleaner for Windows – pros and cons
  5. Our verdict

Combo Cleaner has a long track record as a Mac protection tool, but it also has a lesser-known facet that’s equally promising. Made by Lithuania-based RCS Software, this brand is dynamically extending its reach to the PC security ecosystem. The Windows version of the product comes with a reliable anti-malware scanner, real-time defenses against common threats, online protection, anti-ransomware, and a few system optimization extras that won’t go amiss.

Combo Cleaner for Windows - dashboard
Combo Cleaner for Windows – dashboard

We at MySpyBot have used the Mac app for quite some time and know how well it pinpoints prevalent forms of malicious code targeting Apple’s computers. In this review, we will try to figure out if its PC counterpart keeps the bar high for Windows perils as well. In addition to putting this software through the prism of security, we are going to vet its disk health features to give you the big picture.


Getting started

Combo Cleaner installation is an intuitive three-step process. All it takes is downloading the 3.4 MB stub installer, launching it, and making some initial customizations if you so desire (see screenshot below). In case you stick with the default set-ups, you can tweak them via the app’s Settings later on.

Combo Cleaner installation
Combo Cleaner installation

Once Combo Cleaner starts, it downloads the latest signature updates. The progress of this workflow is shown at the bottom left of the home screen. Speaking of which, the program’s main dashboard looks clean, and the information in every area is easy to interpret.

Its upper part displays the available amount of disk space, memory, and CPU. The left-hand section contains the scan modes along with anti-malware definitions stats. The detection history and disk tools are accessible from the middle part, and the right-hand area provides slide toggles to enable or disable the real-time protection modules.

Combo Cleaner updating its malware signatures
Combo Cleaner updating its malware signatures

Clicking the gear icon at the top of the UI gets you straight to the app’s settings. These controls allow you to adjust the protection functionality of Combo Cleaner to your needs and change some of the options you specified during the installation. You’ll also find tabs with update preferences, anti-ransomware feature management, scan scheduling, quarantine, and whitelist configurations.

General settings
General settings

The product is backed by 24/7 customer support, but with the caveat that there is no way to call or chat with the company reps in real time. The only method is to send a message via the Contact Support form. The premium version provides a built-in module for this, while unregistered users can submit their inquiry via Combo Cleaner’s official website. The reply will be sent to the email address specified in the form.

Built-in customer support form
Built-in customer support form

Now that you have an idea of the app usage and customization basics, let’s move on to the scan. From where we stand, the initial scan (even a quick one) is painfully slow, although it only checks the most vulnerable areas of the system. It took Combo Cleaner more than two hours to complete it, which seems to be blown out of proportion.

On the one hand, this is understandable because the program needs to “familiarize itself” with your PC, and this can’t be fast. On the other hand, scrutinizing more than 450,000 files feels like a full rather than a quick first scan. Moreover, we periodically experienced sluggish system performance along the way. Is the wait worth it? We will touch upon this further down.

Combo Cleaner scan
Combo Cleaner scan


Combo Cleaner for Windows – the feature set

As far as security goes, the app has got you covered. It is equipped with on-demand scanning and real-time protection instruments that suffice to forestall all mainstream types of PC malware. Plus, it provides two nifty features that help keep your disk tidy on the inside. The following paragraphs will give you the lowdown on the defense and optimization potential of this program.

  • PC anti-malware scanner. This is the “heart” of Combo Cleaner. It looks into every corner of your system to identify harmful items, including adware, file-encrypting ransomware, coin miners, rootkits, and spyware. The on-demand scanner is free to use, but automatic removal of the detected threats is only available to premium users.
  • Real-time detection. Geared toward spotting infections before they cause damage, this module is a prerequisite for proactive security. It kicks in whenever you unwittingly download or run an unwanted application, alerting you to the risk and instantly blocking the pest.
Real-time threat detection in action
Real-time threat detection in action
  • Anti-ransomware. The logic behind this feature is to safeguard specific folders against unauthorized data encryption. Do not confuse it with ransomware detection as such. You have to select sensitive directories that will henceforth be secured.
Anti-ransomware feature
Anti-ransomware feature
  • Web browsing protection. Enable this module to fend off malicious downloads, phishing attacks, and Internet spam automatically. The Combo Cleaner team keeps track of such rogue resources and regularly updates the integrated blacklist with new dodgy URLs. You can also configure the app to scan email attachments for malware.
  • Big files finder. When your disk is cluttered with large videos, images, or other files you no longer need, the PC may slow down and act buggy. Combo Cleaner spots potentially redundant items whose size exceeds the default 100 MB (or a different amount you specify) so that you can make an informed decision whether or not to delete them. This disk tool is free to use.
Big Files Finder report
Big Files Finder report
  • Duplicates finder. As is the case with unneeded large files, duplicate items gobble up disk space and don’t belong on your computer. This free feature locates such objects, allowing you to purge them in a snap.
Duplicates finder
Duplicates finder


How well does Combo Cleaner detect and remove Windows threats?

Let’s now zoom into the scan results. Having waited for well over two hours until the first quick scan was through, we could finally view the list of the detected threats. Combo Cleaner categorized 10 out 11 issues as spam, flagging the remaining item as a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Probably due to higher severity, the latter ended up in the Quarantine automatically.

Combo Cleaner scan report
Combo Cleaner scan report

Technically, the spammy objects in the list are tracking cookies and other adware leftovers. These files were dropped by a bunch of browser hijackers we had previously analyzed on our lab laptop. Well, the report included even more stuff than we knew was inside the system, so the app deserves the thumbs for its detection power.

We find the “Move to Quarantine” button somewhat confusing, though. As you can see from the following screenshot, clicking it actually disinfected the low-impact items instead of moving them to the quarantine.

Threats removed
Threats removed

One way or another, Combo Cleaner vanquished everything in seconds. With the super-long initial scan in mind, the flawless repair capability appears to be a decent trade-off. By the way, the next quick scans were shorter, lasting for an hour on average.


Combo Cleaner for Windows – pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy to install and use
  • Commendable threat detection
  • Combines on-demand and real-time protection
  • Comes with online security features
  • Two disk tools included

Cons:

  • Long scans, especially the initial one
  • Causes a considerable system performance hit when scanning


Our verdict

If you are looking for an effective Windows security app, Combo Cleaner should meet your expectations. It finds all common malware, blocks malicious sites, allows you to protect important folders against ransomware impact, and provides a few tools to purge your hard disk of junk. It pinpoints infections as well as large and duplicate files for free, but threat removal and real-time protection require a subscription.

This software is probably not your best bet if you prioritize bells and whistles such as a firewall, parental controls, advanced optimization features, and phone support. But, it detects and eradicates malicious programs from your PC with flying colors.

Download Combo Cleaner for Windows

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